organizations in this region -- to flourish in this region is to put the security of our friends and allies and the united states at great risk, end quote. to quit the area before we rooted out the terrorists would not only hand al qaeda a propaganda victory of immeasure. able victory, but it would give them a sanctuary to mount fresh strikes at the west with virtual immunity. to withdraw from afghanistan at this point, before we finish the job, is to pave the way for the next 9/11. therefore the question we must consider is, can we afford to abandon our mission in afghanistan? general david petraeus, commander, international security assistance force, commander, u.s. forces afghanistan, stated, quote, i can understand the frustration.